New Research Shows Poultry Prices Should Finally Begin To Drop

Thanks to fewer sales and higher prices, grocery shopping hasn't been the easiest on the wallets of customers on a budget. It's especially evident in how much the cost of poultry has risen since March 2022. As The Guardian reported at the time, the war raging in Ukraine put a strain on the supply of chicken feed due to the inflation of its ingredients including soya, sunflower meal, and wheat. On top of that, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that a bird flu outbreak swept through 39 states, infecting over 40 million chickens, ultimately causing a shortage and inevitable price increase on poultry products and eggs.

By August 2022, however, the drop in prices of chicken thighs offered a glimmer of hope. According to data that we published in August 2022, chicken thighs, which were climbing to over $2 per pound, finally began to plateau. By 2023, the other cuts of chicken are expected to follow suit, the USDA predicted in a recent report.

Why are poultry prices expected to drop?

According to its most recent outlook report on livestock, dairy, and poultry, the USDA shared that the sharp decline of broiler meat (what consumers and retailers refer to as chicken) that initially began in August is expected to continue in 2023. The average price next year is said to come in at an average of $1.40 per pound, the USDA's report states.

Industry expert Robert Wright explained (via Restaurant Dive) that poultry production is seeing significant improvement, with chick placements increasing from 175 million to 190 million per week. Based on these current production patterns, Wright foresees poultry being priced at an affordable average in the spring, and another decrease will follow in the fall. In light of these trends, Restaurant Dive states that along with grocery stores, major restaurant chains that previously altered their menus to reflect the rising cost of chicken should soon be adjusting their prices accordingly.